(Photo: Barbara Lee: Telva McGruder, Chief DE&I officer for GM, Glynda Carr-CEO of Hidden Heights, Abby Ginzburg, Film Director of “Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power” and Congresswoman Barbara Lee)
The 2021 Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival (MVAAFF) presented by General Motors returned this past weekend to the beautiful beach island of Martha’s Vineyard. The 19th Annual Festival, also known as the summer’s finest film festival showcased the best of Black film.
“We are proud to be a part of the 19th Annual Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival,” said Telva McGruder, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at General Motors. “Creating a space to celebrate Black filmmakers and the arts reflects GM’s commitment to innovation and excellence. We are excited to uplift and recognize such powerful storytellers from around the world.”
McGruder served as moderator during an intimate Color of Conversation panel following the premier of the riveting documentary “Barbara Lee: Speaking Power to Truth.” The panelists included Congresswoman Barbara Lee, director Abby Ginzberg and Glynda Carr of Higher Heights.
“GM is on a quest to be at the forefront to changing the auto industry to the all-electric future and we understand when we do that, we need to bring everyone with us including the people of urban communities, those of lower social-economic status; and we believe that inclusion in our all-electric future is the only way to do this well,” McGruder said.
The documentary which opens to a roar of diverse women chanting, “Barbara Lee…Speaks for Me” shares an intimate look into the journey of the life of one of the most empowering Black woman in Congress today and poses the question — Do you know Barbara Lee?
Not only is she the highest-ranking Black female in Congress, she is the lone wolf that voted against the 9-11 bill that empowered the president with broad discretion to go to war without approval of Congress.
Lee, amidst a fury of threats, stood alone on the side of the constitution and democracy by fighting for 18 years to amend the bill.
Lee’s fight for change for those who are typically severely overlooked and not heard is a continued passion point for her and why she’s dedicated to the cause to implement the importance of diversity and inclusion for all.
“How in the world would these very wealthy white men, for example, understand the struggles of low-income poor people, black, white, brown, they just don’t get it because they haven’t had those experiences. So, when we show up the dynamic changes and we’re credible when we put forth our arguments and our rationale to do what we do to make things better.“
“Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power” premieres August 20 on Amazon Prime.